It's up to the Leavenworth City Commission and the Leavenworth County Commission to work together on naming two candidates to the Leavenworth County Port Authority after two votes Thursday by the Leavenworth County Commission.
The city commission had voted earlier in the summer to concur with port authority recommendations and nominate Kaaz-Lexeco President Greg Kaaz and Young Sign Company Co-owner Ann Hoins to two positions on the port authority's five-member board. Those positions had been filled by J.C. Tibbetts for 13 years and Charlie Hill for even longer, but both of those members have said they plan to step down as soon as replacements are named.
The commission had previously opted to wait on voting until meeting with port authority representatives to discuss the organization's 2014 budget request, an allocation that comes only form the county. That meeting took place Wednesday. But in addition to Hoins and Kaaz, the commission had at least two other candidates to consider ― Commissioner Dennis Bixby offered area bank executive and Tonganoxie resident Theresa Commerford's resume and former county commissioners John Flower and Louis Klemp both asked to be considered.
“You have the right to recommend two names, they can be two totally different people,” from the city's recommendation, County Administrator Pat Hurley told the commission. “Whoever you want.Then we can figure out from there how we negotiate with the city.”
According to the 1969 charter that created the LCPA, the city and county governing bodies jointly make appointments to the board.
Graeber said he supported the nomination of Commerford.
“The appointees that have been made and sent forward certainly, I feel, would be good appointees,” he said. “On the other hand, I read the application of resume of the lady that commissioner Bixby sent forward. That is an outstanding resume.”
The other two commissioners agreed ― though there were two different iterations of the nomination list, all three had Commerford on their shortlist and they voted to send forward her name as a nomination. The commission then voted to forward Kaaz's name, as well.
“You cannot take away from Greg Kaaz, who has been one of the most active people in our community in supporting various organizations and functions,” Graeber said.
But Bixby agreed with the other commissioners that none of the three candidates under consideration, including Hoins, were bad choices.
“I wish we had three vacancies,” Bixby said. “It would be a nice fit.”